Let's Play X-COM Enforcer Mission 16


This mission's final Bonus letter frustrated me on both my original run and on this re-recording, as it was pretty dang obvious there were very few hiding spots and yet I was still somehow missing it anyway. But I got it this time!... by wasting like five minutes searching. I really need to figure out video editing software someday, that deserves to be cut.

On the plus side, it at least shows off that the Hot Streak also decays if you spend a bit running around not fighting. I'm not sure whether it constantly decays and it's just normally fighting will be more than offsetting it or if the decay is specific to 'you're not in the middle of combat right now', but either way this somewhat discourages burning too much time on exploring between combat sequences. Which, since getting everything major done puts you on a 30 second timer, means you really ideally just know where everything already is, since it's tricky to arrange a stretch of time to explore that won't be a problem.

Anyway, outside of that, the mission is fairly basic. The only wrinkle is that you might not realize that the alien building things are prisons for the humans and/or you might figure that out but not realize that one specific side needs to be destroyed. With how chaotic and widespread weapon destruction is, you might get most of the way through the mission without figuring out the latter and then get stuck! (By virtue of having opened all the previous ones without seeing it happen, and thus not realizing it's a thing you need to do at all)

This is a recurring minor flaw with Enforcer, unfortunately, and it particularly stands out given how often Professor Utonium is chiming in, often even with dialogue that's clearly unique to a given mission. That's a natural jumping-off point for making sure the player knows something important, with an easy in-universe explanation -you're a killer robot who probably isn't that smart and Professor Utonium didn't necessarily have any reason to anticipate this scenario when coding you- but nope, you'll just kind of have to either be lucky or notice it on your own in the chaos of battle and all. I'd say it's old-school game design that just leaves the game largely a mystery for the player to unpack on their own, but Enforcer tries too hard with stuff like the direction system: this is not a game that wants the basics of gameplay to be hard to figure out, it's just a game that is overestimating the obviousness of its decisions.

I sometimes wonder how much that factored into people not liking the game.

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